October 19, 2017

Saturdays with Shandy: 6 Weeks to Make Your Home Shine for the Holidays! Week Two

This past week, we decluttered and tackled front porch and entryway cleaning projects. How did everyone do??? It wasn’t too hard, right? A little bit each week will add up to a whole lot of stress removed from our holiday celebrations! Remember, we are taking before & after pictures every week, and will have the opportunity to share them in our Facebook group on Saturdays only, so be sure to head over there today to post your pictures! I can’t wait to see what everyone has accomplished so far!

This week, we are going to focus on our living and dining rooms. In our house, our front room, or “keeping room” (also known as the living room, great room, parlour, or sitting room) is where we spend much of our time, and is where we invite our guests to sit and make themselves at home. Keeping rooms, historically, were a room right off the kitchen where Colonial families would gather to glean warmth from the kitchen stove. It’s not so different today, as many homes have fireplaces in their living rooms. Not mine, sadly, but many. *sigh* But it is our gathering place, and is where we spend most of our time together as a family.

As such, it should be a comfortable, warm, inviting place, free of clutter, dust, and otherwise unpleasant things. And then there is the dining room. The place where we pray together, break bread together, and fellowship together. If we had Jesus as a guest in our home, we would invite Him to have a meal with us in this special room, so we want this room to be the best it can be, right? Homey, clean, and welcoming. The living room, dining room, and kitchen (which we will get to next week) work together to be the hearts of our homes, so let’s give them the love they deserve.

Have you ever thought about using your five senses when it comes to making your house a home?  The way a house smells speaks volumes about the people that live there, especially the one(s) responsible for housekeeping. What do you smell when you enter your home? Do you have wonderful smelling candles burning, or perhaps a loaf of bread baking in the oven… or do you smell something offensive to your senses? What do you see? A clean, cared for home… or is it unkempt and unorganized? What do you hear? Maybe hymns, contemporary Christian music, or Christmas songs playing in the background… or do you hear harsh, unpleasant noises?

What do you feel? When you sit down on your couch, do you have a soft blanket, or maybe a homemade quilt draped nicely over the edge… or are there crumbs, pet hair, or little plastic Army men there that you’re constantly brushing away? What do you taste? Do you have goodies on hand for unexpected guests, and dinner in the oven every night for your family… or are you constantly scrambling to throw something together or running for take-out way too often?

These things either help to make a house a home, or a place to dread coming home to. Which one are you creating? I encourage you to think about these things as we continue to work on making our homes shine for the holidays!

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Let’s pray:

O taste and see that the Lord is good! You have blessed us with wonderful abilities to sense the world around us, Lord. Let us be ever mindful of how we can use these gifts to serve our family and friends. Be with us this week as we work to make our homes inviting, peaceful, comfortable places where we can fellowship with one another and where we would be proud to welcome You for dinner. Help each of us to remember to give You thanks before each meal, Lord. Remind us to slow down, and let there be a revival in gathering around the table to eat as a family. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Your assignment:

TODAY – Comment below to let us know if you are mindful of the five senses when cleaning and decorating your home, and what you do to make your home pleasing to the senses. Be sure to post your before & after pictures in our facebook group! Read the assignments for the week so you are prepared for what’s to come. Now let’s get cleaning! 🙂 Clean all blinds and window treatments in your living and dining rooms; clean any mirrors and picture frames you have on display… anything with glass. No sense in getting the glass cleaner out repeatedly! If you’re not sure how to clean your blinds, dust your ceiling fan, clean a microfiber couch, etc… go to our Saturdays with Shandy board on Pinterest for some awesome tips! http://pinterest.com/gchministries/saturdays-with-shandy/

Monday – Dusting day! Dust living and dining rooms from the top down: ceiling fans, ceilings & walls, baseboards, and woodwork; clean TV, electronics, and remotes; dust shelves, mantles, tables, other wood furniture, decorations, lamps, etc.

Tues – Clean all doors, doorknobs, light switches, and fingerprints/scuffmarks on walls. Get out the touch-up paint and take care of any places that need to be touched up.

Wed – Clean out and vacuum the couch and other upholstered furniture. Vacuum or sweep & mop the floors in your living and dining rooms, moving all the furniture.

Thurs – Organize! Go through any drawers, cabinets, etc. and organize your belongings, getting rid of anything you no longer need or use.

Fri – Catch up on anything you haven’t completed. If your upholstered furniture and/or carpeting needs cleaning, clean them or have them cleaned. Did you remember to clean with the five senses in mind? Maybe light a candle, or put on some soft music. Then enjoy your evening! You’ve earned it!

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We’d like to invite you to be part of our online Bible study! Click on “Sign-Up Here” at the top of the page to learn more or to register for the Women’s Bible study and be added to our facebook group!

If you have not yet accepted Jesus as your Lord & Savior and would like someone to pray with you, email Prayer@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com and someone from our Prayer Team will contact you soon.

Blessings,

Shandy

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Comments

  1. good tips, shandy! it is so important to add that 'comfy' feel to the areas where our family gathers. i like to use those ceramic fragrance warmers. so nice to open the door and say 'ahhh…smells so nice!' my husband often says that he thinks 'i'm home!' when he comes in to that. hmmm, i better go plug it in! 😉 thanks, again, shandy! <3

    • Shandy Showers says:

      Thanks, Coleen! I also LOVE the fragrance warmers! I have a friend who sells them, and she gave us a beautiful one for our wedding, and I've been addicted ever since 🙂 There are 2 certain candles I'm in love with, too! I just love my home to smell amazing! I love what your hubby says! It says a lot when a man notices things like that 🙂

  2. Jennifer M. says:

    This is a hard one for me. I have three dogs so it is virtually impossible to keep my house clean for more than a few hours at a time. I have slip covers for my furniture which get covered in dog hair within a day of washing them. I love my dogs, but I have sort of given up on ever having a clean home!!! I love your idea of considering the five senses. I tend to burn candles a lot, more to cover the dog smell than for comfort, though, lol! I also love to play music in the background. Thanks for the other tips! If you find any tips for keeping a home fresh smelling with dogs, let me know!!!

    • Shandy Showers says:

      Hi Jennifer! I don't have pets now for that very reason! LOL However, I used to have rottweilers. 3 of them! Sweetest dogs you could ever hope for 🙂 To keep things clean and fresh smelling, I did the following…
      1. My number one rule was no animals on the furniture. Not just for cosmetic reasons, but dogs have oils and critters on them that transfer to your bed, sofa, etc. It's just not sanitary. For this reason, my beloved rotties were also not allowed in the kitchen, and I bought a leather couch and love seat that were easy to wipe down, so when Kendall, Braeden, or Sadie brushed up against them, no harm was done.
      2. Bathe your dogs regularly.
      3. Brush them daily with a good deshedder brush. If a dog is groomed daily, there won't be much hair that sheds on your furniture.
      4. Dog drool leads to smell, so if you have a drooler, wipe his mouth often. I used to use a baby wipe to do this.
      5. Clean your dog's bedding once a week in the hottest water possible. I love the sanitary cycle for things like this. You can do a vinegar rinse to help with smells. You can also sprinkle baking soda on your dog's bedding to freshen things up.
      6. Febreze makes an awesome antimicrobial spray. Good stuff! I think they also have one specifically for pet odors, but I've never used that one before.
      7. If your dog has accidents, all I can say is I hope you don't have carpets! LOL No matter how much you clean the carpets, it soaks into the pad and spreads. The only way to get rid of smelly carpeting is to rip it out and put in a hard surface. And with pets, vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping daily is a must! The Swiffer Wet-Jet is awesome for easy mopping when it comes to pets, as the pads are disposable! And make sure you change your vacuum bag very, very often. The little critters that live on your dog, whether they're mites, fleas, etc… well, when you vacuum, they get sucked up into the bag and reside there.
      8. Wash their toys regularly.
      9. Use stainless steel pet dishes and wash them daily. Plastic absorbs the smell, and if dishes aren't washed every day, bacteria grows.
      10. As Christi mentioned, Scentsy warmers are AWESOME, but unless you take care of the smell at it's source, you're just masking the scent, so instead of the Home Sweet Home scent, you have the Home Sweet Smelly Dog scent 😉 Furbabies are great, as long as they don't overtake your house 🙂

      For you cat lovers, same rules apply, though I would add that the litter box needs to be cleaned every day, and keep it as far away from your main living areas as possible.

      Hope this helps some!

  3. I, too, have a Rat Terrier who sheds. But we got to the point of making her stay OFF of the furniture by giving her a bed, her own little spot. We also use a certain blanket each time she wants to lay on our laps. That way hair doesn't get all over every everything!! I can't stand animal hair on anything! It drives me nuts! I also use Scentsy Warmers for my home. They have some AMAZING fragrances for the home! And they last forever! Such good tips here Shandy! Thank You so much!! You have inspired the domestic goddess in me!!! 🙂

    • Shandy Showers says:

      Yes! I love your no pet on the furniture rule! That really is a must if you want any chance of having a clean home with pets. Good for you! And Scentsy is just awesome. Can't say enough good things about it!

  4. Mandi Ware says:

    Well, week one went well. This week will be a little more difficult. Where I can relate to Jennifer M. about her three dogs I have anywhere from 2-6 teenagers in my house in a day. That tends to make it close to impossible to keep things clean, even when they 'clean up' after themselves. I still wouldn't change a thing about it. 🙂

    • Christi Wilson: Foun says:

      True, Mandi! I would much rather have the kids at MY house to where I know what they are doing, than to have them out and about and wondering what they are doing! 🙂

      • Shandy Showers says:

        Where there's kids, there are messes. I've learned that consistency is important… make sure the kiddos know that if they make a mess, they need to clean it up, and don't let it slide even once. And if you find they are not doing it to your standards, they may need a how-to lesson from Momma. Kids try, but even teenagers need a bit of guidance. Their future spouses will thank you for the thorough training you give them now.

        Glad to hear last week went well! Can't wait to hear from everyone about this week 🙂

        Christi… agreed! I'd much rather have the kids where I can see 'em!

  5. My living room area is a place where we rarely sit, unless we have company. We don't have a television in this room, and we like to keep it that way. That way the first room someone walks into in our home, is always clean and dust free! 🙂 The 2nd room they walk into is the kitchen/dining room area. I do have some touch-up's to do in the living room, especially in the small entry way that we have. So I will work on that this week. Next week, I will do the dining area, since it is included in my kitchen. Good work Shandy!! I'm really liking these posts on Saturday's!!

    • Shandy Showers says:

      Thanks, Christi! I appreciate the feedback 🙂 We'll be working on the kitchen next week. Get ready!!! LOL

  6. Help, you mentioned something about printables. How do I get them? I need lots of help. I am over run with both dogs and teenagers. I was commenting to a friend a day or two ago, how I dread the Christmas holiday. I always have people at my house. It's never as clean as I would like, because I get wore out BEFORE the party ever happens. My kids are teenagers, so the "Santa" thing just doesn't happen anymore. But I need to take our family back to the reason for the season and become more relaxed and enjoyable for that time of year. Love your ideas, keep them coming!

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